This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

September 2, 2020

COVID-19's Unexpected Gifts

For months now, I have been waiting to write about the upside to the pandemic. These kinds of extraordinary times spur innovation of all kinds. In my life and the lives of some others, we have capitalized on our time at home.

Call it an Opportunity
First, on a personal note, I have used our lockdown time to get fit and get rid of unwanted weight. In fact, when I came back from our Semester at Sea® voyage in December I was 17 pounds heavier than I am today. I did it with daily exercise, reduced caloric intake, and intermittent fasting. My diet has also evolved to be almost exclusively vegan, though I am still finishing up the low-fat milk I bought months ago to minimize trips to the supermarket.

Reconnecting with Family and Friends
When I have appeared on TV talking about "Three Mistakes to Avoid to Not Lose Your Job to a Robot," one of my suggestions is to stay in touch with your network, even when you do not need them. During this period of time when many of us are not commuting, we can use that time to reconnect with family and friends.

The Acceleration of Telemedicine
Both my husband and I have seen physicians and other healthcare professionals with virtual medical appointments. What we have discovered is that many of those appointments did not really have to be in-person. We have saved time, gasoline, and energy by having these virtual visits.

Reduced Traffic and Lower Emissions
With fewer cars on the road, it takes a little less time to get to where you have to go. Plus, there is less exhaust being released into the atmosphere and that benefits all of us.

Home-shoring of Manufacturing
People in countries around the world have discovered that there is a clear and present danger of having to buy critical materials, like PPE, gloves, masks, face shields, cotton swabs, and test reagents from other countries. Not only can it become very expensive, but it can also cost lives, while the needed supplies are either backordered or require shipping time. Manufacturing what we need in our own countries allows us to have the needed goods closer by.

Appreciating the Value of Working from Home
For many office employees, working from home has been a new experience. They have discovered the joys of telecommuting. With the hours not spent commuting and by engineering their work time, some people have been able to tackle personal projects at home. Their projects have sparked record sales at Home Depot and Loew's. Other major beneficiaries of the pandemic are Walmart, Costco, and other Big-Box stores.

Direct Release of Movies
In the past movie studios have occasionally released films at the same time as the premium streaming service releases. Now, with the movie theatres still closed, the studios and distribution houses have chosen direct release of new films. Movie lovers everywhere have benefitted by being able to see first-run movies sooner than usual.

The Exponential Rise of Online Ordering
People with underlying conditions of all ages have wisely chosen to stay home. Their decision to stay home has prompted a tremendous increase in online ordering. Direct marketers are reaping the profits.

The Delivery Services that Support Online Sales
Amazon, Federal Express, Instacart, Favor, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and numerous other delivery services have all had remarkable growth. Amazon and Federal Express are so busy they are staffing up as fast as they can.

Highlighted the Need for Racial Reconciliation
The difference severity in coronavirus infections among non-white populations has caused us to understand the urgent need to provide additional support for disadvantaged and under-served populations. People with fewer resources have less access to healthcare and thus, not surprisingly, more underlying conditions. At the same time, due to the killing of unarmed black people, our collective consciousness has been raised to the need for racial reconciliation.

Virtual Speaking and Training
With no end to this COVID-19 yet in sight, most companies have not been conducting as much training as they might have. I am not sure why. However, what we have discovered are platforms like Zoom, Miro, Shindig, EventInterface, Ingomu, and many more. We now know that we can hold effective meetings online. And my family uses Zoom for birthday celebrations and other family get-togethers.

Next Week: The Future of Air Travel in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond
Though the airlines have taken steps to make air travel much safer, asymptomatic infected passengers are still traveling. Next week's Herman Trend Alert will not only cover how you can travel safely now, but all what travel---and airfares----will be like in the future.

Special thanks to my friend Kristin Arnold---one of the friends I reconnected with---for her list.

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